Friday, September 26, 2008

Dirty, dirty, dirty

Mortification is: Finding out your child was sent to the nurse because her hands were "dirty." Nothing makes you feel like a no-good, lousy parent faster than a teacher who thinks you sent your kid to school caked in filth.

For the record Unruly's hands do look filthy. They look pretty disgusting and her fingernails are black. She looks like she's been digging around under the hood of a car and thrusting her sweet little hands into grease and grime. I've seen mechanics with better looking hands.

But in truth, the kid was playing with the black walnuts that are falling into our yard. Gallons and gallons of odorous green balls with tasty nuts at the center became her toys. Those who grew up around black walnuts know: The juice in those green outer coverings stain like crazy and the blacker the outer coverings become, the worse the juice stains. That juice is used to stain wood and fabric and all kinds of other stuff. It's proven to be a very, very effective dye.

She and one of her friends spent an evening smashing them and handling them and playing with them. Both girls came back with black hands that no amount of scrubbing with every cleanser available in my house would remove. We tried. Oh, we tried. But I stopped short of making her soak her hands in gasoline in an attempt to remove the stain. It just wasn't worth it to me. The kid could live with blackened hands, it wasn't hurting her one bit.

I never imagined someone would be offended by her stained appendages.

She went to school with "dirty" hands. Dirty hands that really were the cleanest they've probably been in awhile, but stained nonetheless. The stain wears off, eventually. I know this from personal experience. I've had those black walnut stained hands.

But she got sent to the nurse because the teacher thought she was a filthy child. Even though the filthy child told the teacher it was black walnut juice and "wouldn't come off." But her teacher didn't listen and sent her to the nurse instead.

I. Am. Mortified. Absolutely mortified.

10 comments:

A. di :) said...

you'd think teachers would have other things to worry about!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Skool in 2008....

Anonymous said...

"Owl Was Here"

amy said...

That sounds like schools from the olden days where they had to have spotless and manicured hands or the teacher would smack 'em with a ruler!

Call the teacher and let her know that your daughter was upset (was she?) and explain the situation and that you are very offended. Be calm and nice (maybe your hubby should do it instead, heheehhee! jk :) If you don't address the issue, it'll make for a resentful and uncomfy school year for you.
Remember, by law a teacher has to report anything and everything they find suspicious, and maybe the teacher thought you were torturing the poor kid! Although a teacher ignoring a 2nd grader when she explains that walnuts can stain skin? I mean, come on. What kid could make that up?? :)

Wendy said...

I wonder if the teacher is new to the area or something. Shouldn't they know about black walnuts? (I didn't but I don't live there--I'll ask my bro, he lives there)

Don't be mortified. Be shocked they don't know about their local, friggin' outdoors! Maybe Unruly needs to bring in a bag of walnuts for all the class to get matching hands!

lov ya grma f said...

When I was a kid, my parents and us kids would go and pick-up black walnuts at aunt's farm. Black hands, OH Yes, we sure did, and we were Detroit, city people. Those nuts sure did taste so good in mom's baked goods.
I guess we didn't get hands as black as your daughter did. No one complained about them.
It sounds like that teacher was just looking for some kind of problum and your daughter happen to to be in wrong spot. Seems one can tell if it is dirt or some stain.

TigereyeSal said...

How did your daughter feel? If it wasn't a big deal for her, fantastic! All you have to do is find a way to reframe it for yourself.

If she was mortified too, then you have a great opportunity for showing her how to respond to shaming behaviour with grace and dignity...

Sona said...

I would give that teacher a piece of my mind. Shameful! Go above his/her head and complain.

David said...

We had some of those walnut trees in the yard when I was growing up. The husks are nasty but the walnuts are tasty - worth the mess? not so much.

I suggest you bag up a nice supply of the walnuts and generously give them to the teacher. Then you could choose to tell the principal that the teacher is filty or just stare at her hands and away the apology. Your call...

mirci said...

Does anybody know if there is any way to clean those black walnut hands ?